A Los Angeles oil spill is causing headaches for cleanup crews, business owners, and residents. Authorities confirmed that the 20-inch pipe burst at approximately 12:30 am, spilling more than 10,000 gallons of oil into the Atwater Village streets. Witnesses said the oil was knee deep in some areas.
Authorities said the oil was remotely turned off within 10 minutes of the initial report. As the area is primarily industrial, residential homes were not affected.
Although the region was evacuated, several people were treated for respiratory complaints and nausea. Authorities said cleanup crews have made significant progress. However, residents and business owners are still concerned.
Authorities report that at least five business were affected by the Los Angeles oil spill. Although the oil did not get inside the buildings, the fumes are offensive.
Glendale Carpet Center owner Nabil Monajjed is specifically concerned about the lingering odor:
“They are cleaning the street a block away, but no one is telling us anything… When I opened, the smell of oil in my showroom was really bad… I still smell the fumes.”
Monajjed said hazmat crews responded to the scene. Their presence makes him wonder if the fumes are hazardous to his health. As he suffers with asthma, Monajjed is wearing a gas mask as a precaution.
Residents are concerned that the Los Angeles oil spill will negatively impact the environment. As the streets are lined with storm drains, which lead to the Los Angeles River, the oil could harm local wildlife.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said it is possible that some oil leaked into the drains. However, he has not seen any “visible evidence” to suggest it occurred.
As reported by USA Today, emergency crews contained and removed a large portion of the oil using tanker trucks outfitted with vacuums. As the cleanup continues, crews are clearing the remaining oil with absorbent materials and high-pressure power washers.
Authorities report the initial spill covered a half-mile section of Atwater Village. Although a majority of the oil was removed, several streets remain closed.
CNBC reports that the pipe is owned by Plains West Coast Pipeline, which is a division of Plains All American. Officials said the line transports an estimated 200,000 barrels of oil each day.
Although the Los Angeles oil spill is a concern for residents and business owners, officials insist the situation is under control.
[Image via LA Times]